City and Seattle Public Schools sign letter for new Memorial Stadium and new high school

Seattle Public Schools owns two property parcels at the Seattle Center, and SPS has now signed a letter with the City of Seattle for a new Memorial Stadium and a new high school. Here’s the intro paragraph to the 6-page letter:

“We the undersigned representatives of Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and he City of Seattle (the City), agree to jointly develop and agreement to collaborate on the design of SPS properties for a new Memorial Stadium and high school that meets the stated needs of SPS and of the adjacent Seattle Center property. The design should be spectacular and integrated with the Seattle Center Campus. Additionally, we will collaborate to explore nearby alternative sites for the future SPS high school.”

Note that while both parties agree to a new high school, there is no guarantee that it will be on Seattle Center grounds, it could be at a “nearby alternative site” – but that would likely still keep it in the neighborhood. And, a new high school will address the looming issues with a lack of a local public high school. Queen Anne high school students currently attend Ballard High School.

Here’s the full Seattle Center map:

You can read the full SPS letter online.

SPS teacher walk out tomorrow means Queen Anne Community Center and Pool events

No School May 19If your kids are in the Seattle Public School system, that means there’s no school for them tomorrow, Tuesday, May 19th due to a teacher walk out.

The City is offering free activities for students at both the Queen Anne Community Center (1901 1st Ave W) and the Queen Anne Pool (1920 1st Ave W). Seattle Parks and Recreation will open and staff drop-in activities at 21 designated community centers – including the Queen Anne Community Center – for Seattle Public School students from kindergarten to 8th grade.

The free program runs from 7am to 6pm on Tuesday, May 19th. It includes supervised recreation activities, with an anticipated supervision ratio of 20 children to 1 adult leader.

Due to space limitations, eligible students will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis – there are still spots to sign up online for the QACC. A completed registration form is required, and you can fill it out online here. You can also fill out a registration forms the day of the drop-in service.

Parents are asked to pack a sack lunch. Snacks will be provided to all students, and lunch will be provided to students unable to bring their own.

The Queen Anne Pool is also hosting a special Public Swim. Kids home from school can attend the swim from 3-4pm. Rates: $3.75 for Youth (1 – 17), $5.25 for Adults, $3.75 for Seniors. (Those 5 year of age and under and less than 4 feet tall need to be with an adult in the water for safety.)

Queen Anne Community Council hosts discussion on Interagency Recovery School this Monday

QA High School Gym mapEDITED: QACC LURC meeting is today, Monday, January 26th. Got the date right, but read the day on my calendar wrong.

This Monday, January 26th, the Queen Anne Community Council will devote its Land Use Review Committee and Planning Committee meeting to the upcoming Interagency Recovery School. Seattle Public Schools representatives will be on hand to discuss the planned high school. All are welcome to attend the meeting.

There has been much controversy since we first broke the news of the Interagency Recovery School back in November. Queen Anne residents fall on both sides of the argument – some for the school, some against, with the latter citing the location of the school (across from John Hay Elementary) as the top concern.

A community meeting was held on December 10th to discuss concerns about the high school that’ll move into the old Queen Anne High School Gym in February. The Queen Anne Community Council meeting is the first community update with Seattle Public Schools since December.

Here’s the information for Monday’s meeting:

Topic: Queen Anne Interagency Recovery High School
Location: Queen Anne Manor, 100 Crocket Street
Time: 7pm-9pm
Speakers: Tom Redman, Seattle School District Capital and Facilities Communications; Kaaren Andrews, Queen Anne Interagency Recovery School Principal
Format: Tom Redman and Kaaren Andrews will give LURC and the Queen Anne community a presentation about the school and answer a preliminary list of questions. LURC members will then pose any questions. Once LURC members have completed their review, the floor will be open to community questions determined in order by a sign-up sheet. In respect for all questioners, everyone will be limited to 1 minute each for questions.

The QACC has submitted questions from the December meeting and Queen Anne residents in advance to facilitate the community discussion. If you have questions that you’d like to submit in advance, contact Marty Kaplan, QACC Chair, LURC.

Community meeting on Interagency Recovery School is this Wednesday at John Hay

SPS Recovery School tweetSeattle Public Schools is hosting a community meeting on the Interagency Recovery School this Wednesday, December 10th, 6:30pm-7:30pm. The school is slated to move into the old Queen Anne High School Gym at Galer St and 2nd Ave N, across from John Hay Elementary.

The meeting will be held in the John Hay Elementary cafeteria at 201 Garfield St and is open to John Hay families, staff, and Queen Anne neighbors. (if you received a rescheduled location notice, ignore it – the meeting is back at John Hay)

The Queen Anne High School Gym has been remodeled for the Interagency Recovery School. It was originally scheduled for a November opening, but SPS now estimates that the school will open in the space in early 2015.

The first notice the community received was via this blog. We were tipped to the activity at the old gym by a reader, and upon our inquiry, Seattle Public Schools issued a statement on the school. Now the community has its chance to ask questions about the school and the Interagency Academy Program.

Here’s Wednesday’s agenda:

  • 6:30-6:40pm – Welcome/Introductions and Opening Remarks
  • 6:40-7:15pm – Questions from the audience
  • 7:15-7:30pm – Individual time with staff members

Since the time for the meeting is limited, with only 35 minutes for Q&A, it is advised that attendees read the FAQ that SPS has put together on the Interagency Recovery School. It addresses 61 questions that SPS has received from the community. Due to its length, we aren’t re-publishing the FAQ here – go to this site to read it in its entirety.

Community meeting to discuss Interagency Recovery School planned for December 10th

Today we got word from Seattle Public Schools that the community meeting on the planned Interagency Recovery School will be held at John Hay Cafeteria on Wednesday, December 10th, 6:30-7:30pm.

All residents and parents are welcome to attend this community meeting – per the email we received from SPS, it is a community meeting, not a John Hay-specific meeting. The school will take over the Queen Anne Gym space kitty-corner from Johh Hay Elementary, so the John Hay PTA has been very involved in gathering feedback since we broke the news on the school.

QA High School Gym mapKaaren Andrews, the Principal of the Interagency Academy, contacted the John Hay PTA and stated that the Recovery School plans to open on February 2nd – not later this month, as originally communicated to us by SPS. However, if permits are obtained sooner, it will open before February. Sometime in November is likely the earliest date, pending permits.

If you have questions or concerns about the Interagency Recovery School, plan on attending this community meeting. SPS has asked for comments to be submitted by tomorrow, Thursday, November 13th.

Send your questions and comments to the following SPS contacts:

Kaaren Andrews, Principal of Interagency Schools for Seattle

Kari Hanson, Principal of John Hay 

Sue Peters, Queen Anne SPS Board Member 

Interim Superintendent Nyland 

Assistant Superintendent of Facilities Flip Herndon

John Hay Parent Board (compiling questions for the meeting)

John Hay parents’ concerns prompt SPS community meeting on Interagency Recovery School

Less than a week ago, we posted on the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Interagency Recovery School that’s planned for the old Queen Anne High School Gym. Work was being done at night, which prompted several email tips to Queen Anne View, asking what was happening to the Gym.

When SPS responded to our inquiries, it was news to residents and John Hay Elementary parents. The alternative high school will be located directly across from John Hay Elementary, with the location generating concern from John Hay parents.

QA High School Gym mapConcerns include not only the proximity of recovering addicts to elementary school students – the SPS statement noted that students are committed to being sober – but also the use of SPS property.

Like many Seattle schools, John Hay Elementary is overcrowded. It has two large portable classroom units in the southwest corner of the playground, and could have used the Queen Anne High School Gym space if it’d been available.

After we posted the article on the Interagency Recovery School, there were many reader comments and suggestions for contacts. Parents contacted SPS and Sue Peters, our local Queen Anne SPS board member. According to the John Hay PTA, they received a response after 3 days of inquiries to SPS.

SPS will host a community meeting in December – something that likely wouldn’t have happened without the heads up on the school and the involvement of the John Hay PTA. The original decision was made without a review by SPS (it was added at the last minute to a meeting this past Thursday, November 6th).

Sue Peters is reviewing emails and forwarding them to the Interim Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for Facilities. She has asked for more information on the development and why the community wasn’t engaged early on in the process.

Part of the mission statement for the Interagency Academy program is “partner with community-based organizations and agencies” and one of SPS’ three goals is “Strengthen school, family and community engagement” – neither of which has happened (yet) with the Interagency Recovery School.

We’ve contacted SPS to find out when a date for the community meeting is confirmed. When that information is made available, we’ll share it on the blog. In the meantime, if you have comments, questions, or concerns, here are the people to contact:

Sue Peters, Queen Anne SPS Board Member 

Interim Superintendent Nyland 

Assistant Superintendent of Facilities Flip Herndon

Stay tuned for more information on the proposed community meeting.

Seattle Public Schools opening Interagency Recovery School in old Queen Anne High Gym

We’ve had several readers email us in the past few weeks asking about the construction activity at the old Queen Anne High School Gym. We’ve been in contact with Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to find out what’s happening with the building and we now have information from SPS on plans for the location.

The building at the corner of 2nd Ave N and Galer St has been getting an interior makeover to convert the space into classrooms for a Seattle Public Schools Interagency Academy school.

QA High School Gym mapAccording to SPS, the Interagency Academy is “a network of small, alternative high schools spread out across Seattle designed to support students who need different supports than comprehensive schools offer.”

The Queen Anne High School Gym will house the Interagency Recovery School. It’ll move into the building this month, starting with about 10 students.

We received the following statement from Seattle Public Schools:

Interagency Recovery School

Interagency Recovery School is a small campus designed to support high school youth who are committed to recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. Students have self-selected to attend Interagency Recovery School and have expressed commitment to actively work toward their academic and personal goals while attending school in a clean and sober environment.

Recovery School students come from all over Seattle, representing all races, religions and socioeconomic statuses. These are everybody’s kids who have made hard, mature choices to change their lives. More than anything, they need the support of their community as they walk this difficult road to recovery.

The school site, located in the old gym of the Queen Anne High School building, will offer the support of specially trained teachers, a chemical dependency professional, other support staff, and peers who are also committed to recovery.

The school will open in November with an estimated 10 students and will grow based on need and available resources. As its students are clean and sober, the school upholds a strict no tolerance policy with drugs and alcohol. Students found to be under the influence or in possession of drugs or alcohol will be transferred out of the school to another support service.

Interagency has partnered with King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division to offer this needed program. NAVOS is also providing a full-time staff member at the school to support students, funded by King County Mental Health.

A 2012 Seattle Times article on the Interagency Academy program described it as “a unique and little-known slice of the city’s public-school system for students who were expelled from or otherwise not making it in regular schools.” You can read more about the program in the Seattle Times article and on the SPS Interagency Academy web site.

If you have questions about the Interagency Recovery School, contact information for SPS is listed on this page.

UPDATE: per comments below, if you have concerns about the Interagency Recovery School’s location across from John Hay School, you can contact Sue Peters, the Queen Anne School Board member via email at

The John Hay Elementary PTA has also been informed. You can reach them via email at

Northwest Center school given 6 months to vacate Queen Anne location

Editor’s note: updated with additional information on the Cascade Parent Partnership program.

A reader wrote in to let us know about the letter sent to Northwest Center Queen Anne parents, detailing the Seattle Public School district’s plans for the current location of Northwest Center Kids school on the corner of Florentia and 1st Ave W.

Northwest Center provides an early learning program “for children with and without disabilities in the same program, recognizing each child as a unique individual.”

The site is owned by Seattle Public School district, but has been the home to Northwest Center’s school for 28 years – and per a letter from the school district, they now have 6 months to vacate so the district can use the building for Cascade Parent Partnership, a program for home-schooled children. According to the Seattle Times, their current building, the Wilson-Pacific  School, is being demolished and replaced with a new middle school and elementary school.

While 6 months is the timeframe in the lease termination agreement, the school says it needs more time to make the move. According to Northwest Center, “at least two years would be needed to navigate the logistical challenges of a move as well as the licensing and permitting hurdles we would face.”

The Seattle Times has picked up the story and KING 5 is looking for parents to interview. You can read the full letter to Northwest Center parents below. If you’re interested in helping, check out the “How You Can Help” document, which also contains all of the contact information for Seattle Public School Board officials.

Dear Families,

I am writing to share news that affects the entire Northwest Center Kids community that we have all worked so hard to build here at Queen Anne.  As many of you know, we have made our home at North Queen Anne Elementary for 28 years, made possible by a long-time lease with Seattle Public Schools.  We were recently notified by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lester Herndon, who is in charge of facilities among other things, that Seattle Public Schools needs the building back and will terminate our lease with six months notice per the terms of our lease agreement.

This is shocking news and news which we are prepared to challenge and fight with every resource available to us.  Our first priority for the 49 year existence of Northwest Center has been you the families that make up our community of “people of all abilities.”  We are determined to keep this community of families intact, and we are pursuing any and all possible solutions to accomplish this.

At this point we are in the early stages of reviewing our options which we hope will include productive negotiations with Seattle Public Schools.  Northwest Center has already expressed its interest in buying the property from Seattle Public Schools.  But if that is not possible then at minimum we need more time – at least two years to identify, permit, remodel, and license a facility that can accommodate our students and their specific needs.

Unfortunately we have not been included in any discussions to-date about the future of our school and our programs.  Had Seattle Public Schools been more transparent with us about this plan when it was first formulated, we would have made our case that the facility is serving its best and highest purpose with Northwest Center Kids.

But we are inserting ourselves into the discussions now and making our case forcefully.  Our singular focus is in doing everything we can to prevent devastating impacts to our programs, the early learning opportunities for the children we work with, and the sense of place and community that are so important to everyone associated with Northwest Center Kids.

It is obviously important for all of us to work together as we navigate this process and we want to hear from you and answer any questions and concerns you have.  Tom Everill, our CEO, and I will be available to share information and answer questions on Friday from 4:30 – 6:00PM.   At that time we will also be able to share with you what you can do to support our efforts and secure a future for Northwest Center Kids.

Open House
Friday, January 17   4:30 – 6:00PM
Queen Anne Conference Room

Thank you.   We look forward to tackling this critical challenge together.

Jane Dobrovolny
Executive Director, Northwest Center Kids

Learn More About Upcoming School Levies at Coe Elementary Tomorrow

It seems like the election just happened, but already we can look ahead to the next one – a Special Election on February 12, 2013. Included on the ballot will be the renewal of two Seattle School District levies: an Operations Levy that funds approximately 30% of the District’s operating budget and a Capital Levy (BEX IV), that funds building and infrastructure projects.

To help educate voters, a Community Meeting is being held this Thursday (tomorrow) at Coe Elementary with Senator Jeanne Kohl-Wells, Michael Debell, Lisa MacFarlane, and Kerry Cooley-Stroum from Schools First. The speakers will address the upcoming Levy votes and the role of levies for funding education in Washington, from the District to the State level.  They’ll also discuss in-school fundraising, the McCleary Decision, the District’s role, and more.

“The meeting is a great opportunity to understand education funding and learn what parents and community members can do to help. We felt like we needed a meeting to explain the issues and the key players. Parents just don’t have the time to follow all it. So, we’re bringing speakers to them.” – Cheri Curson Bowles, Coe PTA Co-President

Key Details:
Where: Coe Elementary Gym, 2424 7th Ave W
When: Thursday, December 6, 7-8:30 pm

For additional information, please contact Stacy Lawson, Coe Elementary PTA, 206.999.6724

Links for Little Ones

GirlFest, put on by the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, is coming to the Clink Event Center on October 20th!  Tickets ($15 each) can be bought here and more information can also be found here.

Have you ever thought, “I sure wish there was one whole day where I could learn more about what I like and who I am”? If you’re a girl (or know one!) and you live in Washington, then you’ll be pleased as punch to know that day exists! It’s called GirlFest, and it’s a day-long celebration on Oct. 20 for EVERY girl (and their families) that celebrates all the cool things about being a girl!

Seattle Public Schools has early enrollment open for the 2013-14 school year allowing  incoming kindergarten students and other families new to Seattle Public Schools for the 2013-14 school year a way to jump on the enrollment process starting this week. Early enrollment is offered through Jan. 31, 2013.

Parents can enroll their students at the JSCEE Service Center, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The JSCEE address is 2445 3rd Ave. S., Seattle.  More information on the process, and a link to additional information and help on the process can be found here.  In addition, more information and a link to enrollment paperwork can be found here.

Twirl Cafe turns 2!  On October 21st from 9am-1pm join Twirl and celebrate their birthday.

Wear your costume and join us at the Twirl Patch for a fun Anniversary Pumpkin Bash! Help crank our REAL cider press and watch as we turn Washington’s own apples into fresh cider!
There will be plenty of festivities including: * Face Painting * Costume Dance Party * Queen Anne Books Story Time * Carnival Games * Balloon Animals * Spin-the-Wheel and Raffle Prizes * Chance to win a Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper bag! *
FREE PLAY RSVP On Our Facebook Events Page and get an extra raffle ticket! Come join this fun and festive Anniversary Party and help us celebrate another year of providing Seattle Parents with a community establishment to gather, play and learn!